6.02.2012

Understanding Sexual and Technological Addictions. Are You Or Your Children Already Addicted? Part XIV



Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

Jimmy Buffett
Cover of Jimmy Buffett
“I hate to mention age, but I come from an era when we weren't consumed by technology and television.”
Jimmy Buffett
 
Depending on which Internet study you review, the ages of youth vary of who has the accessibility to the Internet. One study stated that 90% of 12-18 years old have access to the Internet. In having access to the Internet, there has been an increase of accessibility to these youths finding pornography.

The amount of exposure to those youths may cause there to be issues surrounding their sexual development. The options for the youths are either the Internet or traditional methods i.e. magazines to view pornography.
English: World map showing laws of general por...
English: World map showing laws of general pornography (does not include laws concerning of child pornography) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the same study youths at the age of 14 are sexually curious and are responsible for 89% of the above age category. A very interesting finding is that only 5% of those seeking pornography on the Internet are females.

The questions which studies raise are so what if a child is exposed to pornography what is the harm? Some adults have the attitude that when they were young they viewed pornography and there is nothing wrong with them, so what is the harm. This attitude is ignorant and naïve. The youth of today has multiple individuals and groups pulling from them to be a unique and interesting individual who can do multiple things.

The youth has to make choices early on in life of whom and what they will be. The maturation process is basically the same as it was years ago. The difference is the digital techno gadgets that the youths are using today. In the past youths had a choice they could read a book or go to a friend’s house where they would listen to music or play outside.

Today the focus for youths is finding a corner inside their homes where they can begin texting their friends and away the multiple if not numerous conversations will begin. The other options today is the youth can play games, check out a multitude of websites, and visit chat rooms where they will find individuals with similar interests to chat with.

Too o
English: Screenshot of Chat Rooms in Paltalk Scene
English: Screenshot of Chat Rooms in Paltalk Scene (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ften the pathways in which the youths take are instantly destructive or later may cause mental illness, such as depression, social isolation, anxiety, and more. The reasons for the change in behavior by the youth are over a course of time they made the decision to begin exploring alternatives ways to make friends. In the city youths find friends quickly, if not gangs to be a part of something.

In the suburban and rural areas finding friends for some youths can be difficult, as school is sometimes the only opportunity for the youth to find companionship with either sex. So the alternative life styles i.e. the techno gadgets find a place in these youth’s lives quickly, filling the void which occurs due to special circumstances.

The purpose of identifying and explaining why youths should utilize alternative methods to socialize does not excuse their behavior when they step outside the norm and seek pornography.

According to author Sarah Kessler, in her article, “Study: 80 percent of children under 5 use Internet weekly” (2011), in the United States 80% of children between the ages of 0 to 5 use the Internet one time, on at least a weekly basis. Further, this information was pulled from seven studies performed by Joan Ganz of Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop.

This should not be shocking to those who understand how children are absorbing as much digital media as possible. This includes watching television to accessing the Internet to using their Smartphones. The Ganz studies documented that children spend at least three hours a day watching television during the week and this is the highest amount of time in the past eight years. Of the digital media that these children television accounts for a whopping 47%.

In the United Kingdom one-third of children under the age of 10 have their own cell phone. Further that regarding cell phone ownership, 68 percent of parents said they got their children a device primarily so they could keep in touch with them when they were out…though 17 percent of the parents acknowledged that they purchased the cell phones for their children after they succumbed to their child’s pestering.

Facebook requires that members be at least 13 years old to open an account. There are approximately 7.5 million users in the United States who are under the age of 13, and about 5 million are under the age of 10. Facebook will kick those under 13 years old if they are made aware of it, but state this is not their function to be policing those who join them.

The many positive social reasons to have an account on Facebook can turn ugly and emotionally devastating to children who belong to specific groups and friends. However, about one million children who went on Facebook were exposed to bullying of some type, according to a recent study.

Youth Hostel
Youth Hostel (Photo credit: gordontour)
Many parents according to a new survey help their children lie to get onto Facebook. A significant chunk of those millions of underage Facebook users are on the social network with their parents blessing, according to a new survey.

Larry Magid, author, (2011) stated, “In 1998, Congress passed the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that requires Web sites to “obtain verifiable parental consent” before collecting personal information from children under 13.” This law was formed and enacted prior to the creation of MySpace, Facebook, Google, and other social networks.

The concern that children are not being protected is a major issue and parents are rarely not taking steps to safeguard their usage of the techno gadgets which lead to pornographic websites and for some youths to the beginning of sexual addiction or full blown technological or sexual addiction.

Although the COPPA law was enacted in 1998 to protect children, up to date and new safeguards need to be considered and put into place. It is an interesting idea and suggestion as the techno gadgets of today have become the baby-sitters of today and tomorrow. If parents want to know where their children are all the time, they should consider placing a techno gadget inside them.

Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The excuse to give their children who are five years old a telephone so they can communic
ate is ridiculous. What did the parents of decades ago use to monitor their children? How did they communicate with them? The lack of independence is for another article, but society is teaching the youths of tomorrow, that there is a need for instant communication for problem solving and dealing with issues. This will cause an identity disorder and should be a consideration of those parents who step out of the common sensical circle in making decisions to giving their five year old child a cell phone.

Tomorrow, interesting and provoking is the information which is coming out about the use of cell phones and the role they are playing in children’s lives. Parents don’t want to hear the whining and pestering of their children so they acquiesce and purchase them the techno gadgets which will allow them to move into a dangerous and manipulative dark and crazy world, the Internet.





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